Watches: Hublot Classic Fusion Skeleton Tourbillon Vitrail Collection (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on April 14, 2014

If you are a regular reader of Watch Agora, my enthusiasm for Hublot is surely no secret to you. Whatever the collection, I strongly believe their timepieces represent the perfect blend of modernity (materials used for the watches and choice of ambassadors) and tradition (quality and finish of their movements) all wrapped in stunning designs.

If you are attentive enough, you may also have noted my fondness for models that belong to a fundamentally different category: the decorative arts. I never miss an opportunity to write in glowing terms about the sensational “Métiers d’Art” collection from Vacheron Constantin or the equally exceptional “Cartier d’Art” line from the house of Cartier.

During one of my visits to the beautiful Hublot stand during Baselworld, imagine my delight when I found out that this very creative brand has decided to try their hand at decorative techniques! And, for this first breakthrough into the traditional world of high-end decorations, the brand managed to perfectly blend the age-old art of “vitrail” or stained glass windows with its resolutely 21st-century aesthetic. A master stroke…

The Classic Fusion line seemed like the perfect fit for a “Hublot d’Art” model as its clean and thin porthole 45 mm case remains large enough to offer a nice dial surface for the decorations while maintaining the elegance necessary to this type of artistic piece.

For its first foray into the refined world of decorative techniques, the brand opted for the Classic Fusion Skeleton Tourbillon model: its in-house manually-wound HUB6017 calibre with 5 days of power reserve and a tourbillon escapement surely adds the perfect high-end watchmaking touch! In its skeleton version, this refined movement offers no less than 15 small spaces for the artisans to express their decorative skills.

For this first series, Hublot has decided to honour the ancestral art of stained glass windows but in order to remain true to its principle of fusion, they used a very high-tech type of glass treated to filter specific light frequencies so the correct colour appears. The 15 openings on the dial are thus fitted with this stronger, more resilient glass — the colour of which won’t fade with time — secured by O-rings.

Initially, four references are launched: two models in titanium and two in black ceramic with either blue or red translucent glasses. The technology used though already offers 10 colours of translucent glass and the brand hinted that some more models would come. All four models are fitted with a black gummy alligator strap secured by a black PVD stainless steel folding buckle. Each version is limited to 20 pieces.

Whatever the rendition, this Classic Fusion Skeleton Tourbillon Vitrail looks absolutely stunning. The presence of these little tinted windows makes you want to look even more at the watch. You will gaze at the differences in hue from one piece of glass to another, you will also marvel at how beautiful the spring barrel looks behind the red or blue “vitraux” or simply enjoy looking at your wrist through the coloured glass. One thing certain, the beauty and playful side of stained glass windows will not leave you unmoved.

It seems as if this skeleton movement was built to create a decorative piece. As the brand puts it: “and if we were to use other materials than glass? What about slivers of ceramics, semi-precious stones, metal or wood? With this unique concept, there is an endless range of possibilities to create a different watch”. This seems indeed very promising and I can’t wait for the new “Hublot d’Art” models to be unveiled!